Sales tax holiday this weekend

Georgians in the market for a ceiling fan or a dishwasher can save money if they buy energy-efficient options this weekend.

The state is having its second sales tax holiday of the year Friday through Sunday. Shoppers will not have to pay sales tax on Energy Star or WaterSense items with a purchase price of $1,500 or less.

The year’s first tax holiday was in August for back-to-school shopping.

State fiscal economist Ken Heaghney estimated the energy tax holiday would cost the state $2 million; the back-to-school holiday was expected to cost $38 million.

Both tax holidays last existed in 2009 but were halted because the state wanted to keep the extra tax dollars. There had been two previous energy tax holidays. Georgia had its first sales tax holiday in 2002.

The sales tax relief for energy-efficient purchases is intended to encourage shoppers to buy environmentally friendly products and to help conserve the state’s resources, Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement.

The tax relief does not apply to everything with an Energy Star rating but is specific to dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats, refrigerators, doors and windows that are marked with labels from the Energy Star program. Energy Star is a joint program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Also tax-exempt this weekend are products labeled with the EPA’s WaterSense label, such as bathroom sink faucets, high-efficiency toilets and urinals, shower heads, faucet accessories such as aerators, and weather- or sensor-based irrigation controllers.

In both cases, shoppers must spend $1,500 or less per item. There is no cap on the number of items a shopper can buy, but the exemption is not available for items that are rented or leased, or those purchased for a business or trade.

In areas where the sales tax is 7 percent, the tax holiday would mean $105 in tax savings on a $1,500 item.

Shoppers will not have to pay taxes regardless of whether items are bought in stores or online. Both the back-to-school and energy tax holidays will be repeated in 2013.